Finland’s Orkney-based Penguin wave energy converter generates electricity for UK Grid

Green Marine prepare to transport the Wello Penguin to the Orkney wave test site. (Photograph Colin Keldie, CEFOW)
Green Marine prepare to transport the Wello Penguin to the Orkney wave test site. (Photograph Colin Keldie, CEFOW)

Wello’s Penguin wave energy converter has successfully generated electricity into the national grid from the west coast of Orkney.

The Penguin was installed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo by Orkney-based Green Marine.

This is the first of three energy converters due to be installed at EMEC over the next three years as part of the Clean Energy from Ocean Waves project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Led by Fortum, the generation of power is a major milestone within the ocean energy project which aims to ready the Penguin technology for commercialisation by developing the first grid-connected wave energy array in the UK, focusing on lowering the levelised cost of energy and developing an efficient supply chain to support larger wave power projects in the future.

Mikko Muoniovaara, senior project manager at Fortum, said: “This is a very exciting period in the project for us, and the Wello office in Orkney has been buzzing with people eager to watch the screens showing the live generation feeds.

“This last month has proven the viability of the Penguin concept, as not only can the technology survive in the harsh waves around Orkney, but it can generate power from them. For Fortum, this is very promising progress.”

Neil Kermode, EMEC Managing Director, added: “This is a tremendous milestone for Wello and also for the wave energy sector as a whole. Not only has Wello’s Penguin survived heavy swell and stormy conditions since being deployed, it is now generating power into the local grid.”

The Clean Energy from Ocean Waves consortium spans the full value chain including research organisations, wave converter technology developers, marine service providers and a large multi-national utility company.

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